need some support

  1. Hey all you NICU nurses this is going to be long so get comfortable.......

    I graduated nursing school almost 5 years ago and I started in the NICU as a new grad. The first year in the NICU was very stressful as expected, but even after the first year my anxiety still lingered everytime I had to work and I looked forward to my days off way too much. The anxiety wasn't real bad, but it was there. I did enjoy taking care of the babies and would never work in any other unit as a bedside nurse.

    After two and a half years I did leave for a M-F type job that was less stress. I was at the job a little over two years and I did enjoy that job a lot. The stress was minimal and it was a great environment. I did work agency in the NICU while at this job so I could keep up my skills, but sometimes went months without a shift.

    I recently decided that I wanted to return to the NICU and I got a job and I have been in the unit for only two weeks and all the anxiety is back. I had no anxiety for the last two years. I am not sure what my problem is because I do enjoy the challenge of the NICU, but I'm thinking that I am not cut out for it full time. All I want to do is run back to my "comfy'' job and work just PRN in the NICU (once or twice a month max.)

    Any words of advice and/or encouragement? Do any of you NICU nurses feel anxious before you have to work?

    Thanks for reading my long thread!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   renerian
    I am not a NICU nurse but it sounds like the stress level there is not good for you. If I felt that way I would leave. Just my two cents. Your mind and body are sending you a strong message.

    renerian
  4. by   webbiedebbie
    What about postpartum or nursery? Less stress and still with the babies, where your past experiences may be helpful. You would also be a good teacher for the nurses .
  5. by   dawngloves
    Anxiety like how? Chest pain? Vomiting? I know I have a sense of dread before my shift if I think I'm going to get an admission. HTH!
  6. by   Hannahrn
    It is not easy working in NICU. However, it depends on the NICU you are in...I started in a BIG 55 bed unit with Neonatologists, NNP's Residents, fellows......etc....and it was so stressful I was eaten alive as a new grad. Long story short...3 years and several NICU's later, I am in a 16 bed level 3 unit with only attending MD's and I love it!!!!! Also, try nights instead of days...things are friendlier, more relaxed. Keep on lookin, honey...you'll find your niche.
  7. by   Mimi2RN
    If you really want to work with babies, maybe a level 2 would not give you so much stress. I love my nightshifts, sometimes it's horrendously busy, but we are a 10 bed nursery, and the sickest babies go to Childrens. The average census is probably at least 10, we have had as many as 20 babies this last year.

    mimi
  8. by   nicudaynurse
    Hey everyone, thanks for the responses!!

    Well I decided to go back to my old job. The job I am returning to is in pediatric neurology so I do get to see some ''ex-preemies" which has been very interesting.

    I will be staying on PRN in the NICU and will be working twice a month. I think that will be the best balance for me. I don't feel that I would be satisfied as a nurse if I gave up NICU completely. I do feel that God has big plans for me in the NICU, but I'm just not ready yet!!
  9. by   nurseiam
    I also think that the unit you work in makes a difference. We have 6 dr's and 10 NNP's. The standards sre pretty much the same through the group, so they don't really second guess eachother. I've been told from other people that we are spoiled. There are also people that only work in the intermediate care and that is their comfort level!

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